Devastating Lies That are Holding You Back

As I was outlining the steps to simplifying homes, I have a hard time knowing where exactly to put this step. It is one of the most important, so it’s up at the top: before the actual work of decluttering starts.
Once you decide to embrace minimalism, you have to lay a foundation for being able to follow through and then address all the mental blocks that tend to get in the way.

Most of us have what the self-help gurus like to call “limiting beliefs.”

They are beliefs that we have (right or wrong) that limit what we are capable of doing. The biggest area we see this is when we say “I don’t have time!” And for most, there is all sorts of ways to justify that statement, but it’s not a true statement, it’s really just a belief.
For example: “I don’t have time to make my bed each morning.”
But if you time yourself making your bed, how much time do you spend doing it? 30 seconds? 1 minute? Who doesn’t have 1 minute?!
We all have 1 minute. We all have lots of minutes!

The truth comes out when you look at how you actually spend those minutes.

For most of us, during our free minutes we check Facebook, or emails. We scroll through Instagram, twitter and Pinterest.
So it’s not that you don’t have 1 minute to make your bed.
When you face the task of simplifying the house, you know it’s going to take time and yes, you probably feel like you don’t have much time… and maybe not much energy, because, life is downright exhausting.

But when something is important you somehow find the time and energy to make it happen.

Even if you struggle with daily pain, or have a baby that wakes 4 times through the night, or a job that has you on your feet constantly through the day. Somewhere, you find the energy to do what you need to do.
It’s not that you don’t have the energy to work on your home, it’s that you have to decide it is important enough for you to spend some of that energy on your home.
People say “self care is extremely important.” And they say “let the dishes pile up if you need a bath to relax.”
It may be true, some people might be able to go take a bath and forget about the stinking mass of dirty dishes in the other room, but the majority of us, it is still taking up mental space.
There is no true relaxation, because those nasty dishes are still in your mind’s eye. When you sit in the bath, even with your favorite calming essential oils, and even with a book in hand and a glass of wine by your side, a bit of your mind is still mulling over the dishes that need to be done, the bills that need to be paid, the papers that should be filed, the toys that are strewn across the living room, the clothes that need to be folded.
It doesn’t even matter if you’ve lived with unfinished things for the last 20 years- if you have the habit of never folding clothes and putting them away, you still think “I should…”
So, is self care really taking time out for a bath and a glass of wine? Or is that avoidance of true self-care?
If you pause and think, you know exactly what “shoulds” you have floating through your mind that prevent you from really relaxing and enjoying a moment.

And true self-care is changing what you tell yourself.

What limiting beliefs do you find yourself saying? These are the most common ones I hear:

  • I don’t have time
  • I don’t have energy
  • Why bother cleaning when kids will just mess it up again?
  • I don’t feel like I deserve nice things.
  • The dishes/laundry/toys will just come back again, there is no point.
  • I hate chores.
  • I will just wait till the rest of the family chips in
  • I’m the only one that cares, so that would mean I would have to work at it 24/7
  • I don’t want to clean 24/7 – that’s such a waste of time

I would encourage you to take some time to write out all the limiting beliefs that you find yourself saying.
This might be your own voice, it might be the voice of someone in your past or an unsupportive spouse, but it’s still something going through your mind controlling what you do or don’t do.
Here is a print out you can use to write the limiting beliefs and the replace them with the truths you need:

Free PDF: how to shift that negative self-talk

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Once you’ve taken the time to write down all the negative beliefs, it’s vital that you spend time rewriting them into positive truths.

Make sure that all the words you use are positive.

Many are tempted to say things like “I want a clutter-free home.” Now, there is nothing wrong with wanting a clutter-free home, but the word clutter is negative. So even if you say “negativity-free” home, it’s still a negative feeling, isn’t it?
Instead make the truth: “I want a home that is joyful”
When you are done with writing out the lies and then rewriting them as truths, should look something like this:

  • I don’t have time. I have time to do things that are important to me.
  • I don’t have energy. I have enough energy to do what I need to do.
  • Why bother cleaning when kids will just mess it up again? I can clean because I enjoy a nice home.
  • I don’t feel like I deserve nice things. I deserve nice things.
  • The dishes/laundry will just come back again, there is no point. I love having clean dishes/laundry.
  • I hate chores. I love having a clean and welcoming home.
  • I will just wait till the rest of the family chips in. I will do things now because I love myself.
  • I’m the only one that cares. Whatever I do is enough and I will be satisfied with it.
  • Cleaning is such a waste of time. I will clean because I know it will help me be happier/nicer/joyful.

After doing this exercise, anytime you hear that little voice in your head repeating a limiting belief, think of your positive truth and repeat it to yourself.
Don’t despair! You can tell yourself these truths and you can change the way you have been thinking. <3
Are you willing to share? What are the lies that have been devastating you?

Free PDF: how to shift that negative self-talk

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About Rachel Jones

Hi there! I’m Rachel Jones, and I founded Nourishing Minimalism in 2012 at the beginning of my minimalist journey after I'd been doing a yearly decluttering challenge for 4 years and started to see a change in my home. If you're looking for encouragement in your journey, please join our FREE Facebook Group: Nourishing Minimalism Facebook Group


  1. Raina on 08/15/2017 at 11:18 am

    Thanks for your uplifting, practical advice, Rachel. I just came across your site late last week and I’m so glad I did. I think another one for me has been, “Messiness runs in my family. My mom has a stuffed house, my grandparents are hoarders, etc.” But actually, we just share some of the same habits (leaving projects unfinished), fears (what if I need this later?) and limiting beliefs (‘I’m too busy’ is a huge one). My oldest children, 10 and 13, are also going through this decluttering phase with me, following your ‘Decluttering the Kids Rooms’ guidelines, and my 13-yr-old son said, “I think this is going to take a lot of work … but I really want to have a clean room!” We are breaking the clutter cycle and it feels good 🙂

    • Rachel Jones on 08/15/2017 at 2:02 pm

      Good for you guys Raina!

  2. Joanna on 08/15/2017 at 11:09 pm

    My limiting belief….
    I can do it later.
    I never have any quiet time.
    I never get to do what I want to do.
    I will rewrite these bc I know I say these things but I don’t really think they are truths, great exercise for my journal.

    • Rachel Jones on 08/16/2017 at 1:07 pm

      Thank you for sharing Joanna!

  3. Bethany @ CuteCapsuleLife on 08/16/2017 at 5:47 pm

    Great advice – life is about choices we make and they either help us achieve or limit us.

  4. Nicole on 08/23/2017 at 8:05 am

    That was a great read. Thank you!

  5. Deanna Koenigsberg on 08/23/2017 at 8:21 am

    So true – and glad I’m not the only one with those thoughts! I would prefer to sit and check email or Facebook than declutter. I need to find the motivation to get it done.

  6. Ellen on 08/23/2017 at 8:43 am

    I’m not sure what’s happened to me over the last few years (perhaps simply the addition of more children), but I have found it harder and harder to keep up with life. There has definitely been an increase in negative self talk, but I didn’t really realise how bad it had gotten until I read this. I feel I have so much work to do, but this has given me an actual starting point, because I know so much of my problem is in my mind.

  7. Cris on 08/23/2017 at 9:58 am

    Thank you for this. I have never been able to relax until the work is done. Someone once told me it is “Norwegian work guilt”! LOL!
    My mind is full of negative self talk, so I am going to work on turning those thoughts into positive statements.

  8. Jo on 08/23/2017 at 9:24 pm

    Fabulous write up. Thank you!

  9. Jason McFadden on 10/11/2017 at 3:01 pm

    I like how you flipped those statements to focus on the positive. It got me thinking about keeping your eyes on the prize, the goal, the benefits of doing the hard work. I may not necessairly enjoy the messy hard work of cleaning, but I love the results – a clean [fill in the blank]. Don’t focus on the part you dislike (yucky cleaning). Focus on the good part you like (being clean). That’s my two cents; hope it makes sense.

    • Rachel Jones on 10/11/2017 at 6:26 pm


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